This summer has been been a busy one for me with very few days off of "work." Fortunately for me, I love my work! I shot model homes in the Bay Area and Sacramento, lots of pro tennis and even beautiful models poolside for some lifestyle photos!
My time to relax came last week and I took advantage of it with a 3-day Sierra Nevada backpack trip. I headed to the Tahoe National Forest, north of I-80, and hiked to Glacier Lake, the Five Lakes Basin as well as the Crooked Lakes Basin.
Of course, I packed my camera! Not just that, I took my 360-degree gear and brought home seven 360x180 photos. I have put them into a "photo tour" of my trip. You can see it here...
The tour starts in a meadow with cows, near the start of my trip. Each night I had a lake to myself and, in addition to the photography, I used the time for swimming and relaxing! I hope you enjoy the tour!
Late last year I invested in the equipment and software needed for capturing 360-degree images and turning them into virtual tours. My goal was to be able to create the cleanest, most professional and most effective virtual tours around. High-end, not low-end!
In January and February I worked closely with one of my long-time customers, Taylor Morrison, to create a tour template completely customized their look and needs. We tested many of layouts and lots of options, and then settled into what we both felt was the perfect solution for their business needs. The result is a full screen virtual tour that blends standard and 360-degree photos with an interactive floor plan.
I'm excited to share that we recently launched the first set of virtual tours for Taylor Morrison, in support of their Thirty-Seven Degrees North community in Sunnyvale. Check out these new homes, and new virtual tours!
I'm excited to share with you a photography art form that is new for me. It's called spherical photography. Others also call it 360x180 panoramic photography.
On the commercial side of my business I'll be using it to offer virtual tours for homes, restaurants and other businesses. But on the artistic side it offers up some wonderful opportunities to go beyond traditional photography.
For my very first image I chose one of my favorite local scenes, the Rainbow Bridge and the American River in Folsom, California. Believe it or not, it took 92 image captures to create this one final image.
As a helpful hint, once this loads, you can use your mouse and the cursor within the image to control it, so give that a try if you like.
I hope you enjoy it. I'm looking forward to creating many more of these unique images!
A very cool new nightclub just opened here in my hometown of El Dorado Hills and I got the opportunity to photograph it. Management at Reunion Nightclub wanted to show off the club's architecture and their many brand new high-end features.
This nightclub is an "intimate" setting. In technical photography terms, it was dark! For most shots this simply meant longer exposures. But they also wanted to capture images of the dance floor with the high-tech lights turned on and moving. Capturing these lights meant a fast shutter speed. One of the somewhat unheralded advances in digital photography has been the rapid improvements in the ability to capture dark scenes, with a fast shutter speed, while still maintaining image quality. My new Canon 5D MkIII camera proved up to the task, capturing the dance floor images at a very high 3200 ISO. That's something that could not have been done just a year ago!
Okay, enough geeky tech talk. Here is a link to a short video highlighting some of the images I captured.
Click the "play" icon in the middle to start it. I recommend you then click the "full screen" icon in the lower right.
For the past few years I have made an effort to spend time in the Eastern Sierra Nevada to photograph the fall colors. Depending on my schedule, sometimes I get only a day or two, but sometimes more. I was lucky this year to be able to spend several days over a couple of trips.
I avoid weekends and, instead, head out on the weekdays. The main goal, at the headline level, is to capture the seasonal changing colors. But once I'm up there, I always realize there is another reason for being there. Starting in October, everything gets quiet. Very quiet. The campgrounds are empty. The smaller restaurants close for the season. Even some of the lodges close.
Mostly it's photographers and fisherman doing their thing. Each has their reason for being there... the photographers to get photos... the fisherman to get fish. But I suspect, in reality, we are all really drawn by the same quiet serenity and stunning beauty.
For this season I have tried out my first attempt at a YouTube video. If you would like to take a look, here is the link...
I hope you enjoy your fall season!
Earlier this summer my wife, Susan, joined her dad, sister, step-mom and others for a 3-week trip to Kenya. She wanted to shoot photos, so we did some crash photography training before she left. She has watched me for years, and I've talked her ear off about photography, so most of it was not new to her. She mostly needed to know what buttons to press!
When she returned I was amazed at the high numbers of "keepers" she had captured. Not only where the shots in focus and properly exposed, her compositions where fabulous!. I'm so excited to get to share her photos and show off her amazing photography skills!
We have taken her photos and put them into a slide show. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
Slide show link: http://vomund.zenfolio.com/kenya/slideshow
For me, July was TENNIS MONTH! This year I accepted the role as "team photographer" for the Sacramento Capitols pro tennis team, which plays a very fast and furious season that starts and ends in July. In a first, I got to work side-by-side with my good friend, Chris Silva. Chris and I shot thousands of photos and, between the two of us, we put in a couple hundred hours into the short season. After each match I merged our photos together, sorted and processed them, then put them online. It was great to work as a team with Chris!
The matches start at sunset, and I knew from past experiences that the lighting would be difficult for shooting quality action shots. As a result I invested in Canon's newest body, the 5D Mark III. This camera's biggest draw was its low light shooting abilities, and it didn't disappoint. For those who know photography, I was able to shoot at ISO 5000, f2.8, and shutter speed 1/1250. That is something that was just not possible in the past!
Here is a slide show of some of my favorite shots from the 2012 season...
You can click the "full screen" button, in the lower right, to see a larger version.
Last month I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Ashley and Jeremy at the Winchester Country Club, which is located in the foothills of California off of Highway 80. Photographing a wedding is stimulating for me in so many ways. I get to participate in the emotions of such a special day. Not only that, I get to capture those emotions to be saved forever. Weddings are also fast paced, challenging my skills and abilities as I move from one situation to the next, quickly. Weddings also let me explore my creative side as I try to create images that are beautiful, unique and timeless.
For this wedding I got to capture the whole day, from bride and groom preparations at 11:00 AM through to their departure at 8:30 that evening. It was a long day, but one fueled by my own adrenaline!
I invite you to watch the resulting slide show that chronicles Ashley and Jeremy's special day.
~ Rob Vomund
P.S. I want to send a special THANK YOU to my good friend Lisa for thinking of me for this special project. Lisa and I went to high school together, many eons ago. Thanks, Lisa!